There is a chance given to each of us, who stumbles across the eloquently worded and arranged thoughts of those who have taken the time to scribble them down. Every time one of these uniquely-minded humans marks a tangible record of appreciation for the nature of reality, some curious, unknown descendant stands a chance at discovering the beauty of science. That particular moment in time is weaved into the writing and awaits perhaps the next century of descendants, to live again, as seeds in the minds of those that seek a more mindful humanity. Born, are brilliant, rational, human ideas, superseding millennia of superstitious hindering.
"Nothing expands the mind like the expanding Universe. The music of the spheres is a nursery rhyme, a jingle to set against the majestic chords of the Symphonie Galactica. Changing the metaphor and the dimension, the dusts of centuries, the mists of what we presume to call "ancient" history, are soon blown off by the steady, eroding winds of geological ages."
- FROM RICHARD DAWKINS AFTERWARD: LAWRENCE KRAUSS "A UNIVERSE FROM NOTHING"
"The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms--this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men."
- FROM ALBERT EINSTEIN "LIVING PHILOSOPHIES"
"The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. From it we have learned most of what we know. Recently, we have waded a little out to sea, enough to dampen our toes or, at most, wet our ankles. The water seems inviting. The ocean calls. Some part of our being knows this is from where we came. We long to return."
- FROM CARL SAGAN "COSMOS"
"The ultimate arbiter of truth is experiment, not the comfort one derives from one's a priori beliefs, nor the beauty or elegance one ascribes to one's theoretical models."
- FROM LAWRENCE KRAUSS "A UNIVERSE FROM NOTHING"
"The known is finite, the unknown is infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land."
- FROM T.H. HUXLEY
"The scientific quest itself, the quest to understand, the quest to analyze, the quest to know why we're here. The quest to know what the universe is all about. That is a noble, aesthetically wonderful quest and it's what I've devoted my life to."
- RICHARD DAWKINS
THE STRUGGLE TO REASON
It is a deep and hindering struggle for humankind. Because it means this is it. It means that in a moment, this feeling of what it is to exist and to be conscious and to feel everything that is good and warm and comforting, is gone. And the world exists as it did before you were born. Without your consciousness of it. And with this, every moment that you are inhaling and exhaling the nitrogen and oxygen of the existing creatures of the Earth as well as that of your ancestors, has incredible value. You are not important, beyond natural survival. You don't have a given purpose. It is up to you only, to make your own. It is just as great a 'miracle' of higher power to die tragically of a parasitic disease as it is to have happened to be at the right place at the right time, in any large or small instance favorable to your life. We are lucky creatures. Of no more supernatural importance than that of every large and microscopic living organism made up of the same elements as our dominating species. We stand on equal ground, with respect to nature and its evolution, within billions of years- of billions of creatures, small and large, physically 'beautiful' and others what we humans have commonly deemed 'disgusting' or 'slimy,' all made up of the same basic ingredients. Time is in the layers of the earth. And the rise of our species is now, brief within it. We are fortunate to be here and we are even more fortunate to possess the capability to understand and further discover how. It is with the same method of understanding the natural world that we are capable of saving our own lives and the lives of other animals. And that we are able to use a GPS to navigate the Earth. It is with this same method of understanding that we are able to make a cup of coffee. We forget this. Some of us fail to ever realize it. We all too often hold the socially glorified and pretentious position that WE, individually, are chosen to be saved from death and blessed beyond measure above those that suffer greatly for the most part of their existence. So it means that we decide what we are as conscious, moral humans. That our scientists and engineers are rightfully responsible for our advancements and the saving of lives. That we should ultimately embrace every good-natured creature we cross paths with on the journey. That we are deeply connected, rooted, in the Earth that we inhabit. And the closely and distantly related animals we choose for food and for companionship. That we are responsible for our actions and non-actions. That we have every reason to further understand and discover. It means we are lucky. And we need not waste a minute of existence.
STANDING WITNESS TO REGRESSIVE THINKING
This is us.
Here, in the twenty-first century,
Among human-made spacecraft
Completing the stretch of seven-plus billion kilometers
Across our solar system,
To the outermost known rock
That entangled the imagination of our species
Now ten years ago.
Among the most incredible life-saving innovations
In human history.
Among this species of ours,
To live equally with one another.
Taking on millennia of misinformation and superstitious thinking.
Millennia of bad human ideas.
Here we are.
Among the best of man
And among the worst of man.
Enriched in knowledge,
Hindered by the gods and the demons
Of our earliest thinking ancestors' imaginations-
Subject to question.
Some, crumbling under our skeptical interrogation of reality.
The method of reasoning that has enlightened this growing species
On the laws of this universe,
That humankind has so blindly inhabited
For hundreds of thousands of years.
We stand here,
On the timeline of human history
When we might begin to ask greater questions
Without fear of slaughter.
Fear that kept freethinkers before us
Quiet in their thoughts.
We stand here,
In the warming dawn of reason.
Let us be loud.
Two science-geeky females in their early twenties are keeping the record.